Scatec Solar ASA, a Norwegian developer of renewable-energy facilities, is among preferred bidders for three solar-power projects in the fourth of five program rounds to increase electricity from clean sources in South Africa.
The country’s Department of Energy awarded Scatec preferred-bidder status for projects in the Northern Cape province with a combined capacity of 258 megawatts, the Oslo-based company said in a statement Monday.
South Africa is expanding capacity as the state utility, which generates about 95 percent of the country’s power mostly using coal, has been forced to implement managed blackouts due to breakdowns at its aging fleet of plants and failure to invest in new facilities on time.
The country procured about 3,900 megawatts of capacity through the first three competitive rounds of bids by clean-energy producers, with about $10 billion invested so far, the Department of Energy said in December. That already exceeded the 3,725 megawatts initially sought from five bid windows.
The department had planned to name the preferred providers in the program’s fourth round on Dec. 15. Maduna Ngobeni, a spokesman for the department, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Scatec has arranged financing for the projects that will be built near Upington, about 870 kilometers (540 miles) northeast of Cape Town, it said. Construction will start in early 2017, according to the company.
It will own 42 percent of the plants while the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, or Norfund, will hold 18 percent and a trust for local South African communities will control the rest, it said.